Poultry · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Red Swiss Chard

While at the farmers’ market the other day, we ended up picking up some Red Swiss Chard. The color was so bright and vibrant that we were immediately drawn to it. In truth, we had never prepared it before–nor did we know what we were going to do with it. But, when at the farmers’ market, pick up what’s fresh.

Since the Chard is of the dark greens genre, we figured a low, slow saute with bacon would be a great preparation. And well, I’m always trying to find ways to add bacon into things.

As for the main dish, we settled on roasting a Cornish Game for an earthy, and somewhat rustic feel. Plus, Game Hen is perfect when prepping dinner for two. MUCH faster than roasting an entire chicken and the perfect serving size.

Our end result was absolutely delicious! HEARTY, savory, and just darn belly warming. We plated the hen with toasted pieces of bread underneath to soak up all juices. Waste not, want not! And as for the Chard—stunning! Slightly bitter yet much more tender than I expected. Of course, the bacon added a wonderful smokey taste but didn’t overpower the natural flavors of the greens. This is DEFINITELY being added to my veggies repertoire.

Have any other suggestions to pair Swiss Chard with? Leave me a comment as I’m always looking for some delish suggestions!

Cheers!

Searing the  Cornish Game Hen

Thoroughly clean and dry the Chard before chopping

Browning the Onions and Bacon

Sauteing the Chard


Cornish Game Hen with Swiss Chard
Serves 2

Ingredients:

Cornish Game Hen
1 Cornish Game Hen, cleaned and thoroughly dried
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
¼ Yellow Onion, quartered
4 Large Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Bouquet Garni (3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, 5 Springs Fresh Thyme, 3 Springs Fresh Sweet Basil)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Swiss Chard
1 Bunch of fresh Swiss Chard (washed , dried, and chopped. Approximately 5-6 cups.)
3 Slices Bacon, chopped
¼ Cup Yellow Onion, sliced
4-5 Large Garlic Cloves, finely minced
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Additional
4 Thick Slices of Bread, toasted (such as Ciabatta, Sourdough)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take Hen and slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub 2 tablespoons Butter underneath skin. Inside the cavity, heavily salt and pepper the hen. Stuff the cavity with the remaining Butter, Yellow Onion, Garlic, and Bouquet Garni. Rub the exterior of the Hen with Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper the Hen. Tie the legs loosely together with kitchen twine.

In a dutch oven heated on medium high, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the Hen in the dutch oven, breast side down. Sear until golden brown—approximately 4-5 minutes. Flip Hen so that the breast faces upwards. Cover the dutch oven and place in the oven. After 25 minutes, remove lid. Roast Hen until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees. Carefully remove from dutch oven and rest on cutting board. Cover and loosely tent with aluminum foil.

Move dutch oven to the range and turn flame to medium. Carefully add sliced Yellow Onion and chopped Bacon. Cook until Bacon is barely crispy. Add Garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add stems of Swiss Chard and stir. Cover and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and add leaves of Swiss Chard. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes or until Chard is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in Vinegar. Salt and Pepper to taste.

To plate, place Swiss Chard on dish. Place two pieces of toasted bread on top of Chard. Proceed to place Hen on top of toast. Spoon any remaining juices from the Swiss Chard dutch oven over the chicken.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Condiments/Sauces · Poultry

Chili-Lime Chicken with Cilantro-Almond Pesto

Let’s face it…..most of us have some type of frozen chicken in the freezer. And if you’re anything like me, you cycle through the same type of chicken preparation week after week.

One average weeknight I came home and opened the refrigerator door. I continued to stare inside its contents for a good 5 minutes like it was a TV, desperately trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I’m not ashamed to admit it but there were slim pickings and I needed something to go with the chicken I had pulled out from the freezer earlier that day. I found some cilantro, cheeses, and caught a glimpse of a bag of almonds we had on the counter. Than it hit me—why not try making a Pesto? Almonds are my favorite nut and I thought it would be fun to experiment with them.

I love the bright flavors of cilantro with lime and chose a quick and easy marinade for the chicken. How did it go? Pretty tasty if I do say so myself 🙂  The pesto was extremely bright from the citrus and herbs yet still had that great “nutty” flavor from the almonds. Paired over the extremely juicy and flavorful chicken and we had just kicked up a boring weekday dinner to a fun and unique meal.

Give it a try and enjoy! 🙂

Prepping the Pesto. I LOVED the bright green color from the cilantro 🙂

Pair it with a side of a Black Beans and Corn Salad and this may make its way into your chicken rotation 🙂

Chili-Lime Chicken with Cilantro-Almond Pesto
Serves approximately 4

Ingredients:

Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
½ Teaspoon Lime Zest
½ Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Tablespoon Cumin Powder
1 Teaspoon finely diced Jalapeno Pepper
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
¾ Tablespoon Kosher Salt

Cilantro-Almond Pesto
1½-2 Cups of packed, Chopped Cilantro (approximately 1 bunch)
½ Cup Unsalted, Roasted Almonds
2-3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ Teaspoon Lime Juice
Approximately ½ – ¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all items for the chicken marinade with the chicken in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Be sure to get most of the air out of the bag before sealing it. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, begin work on the pesto. In a food processor, pulse garlic and almonds. Add cilantro, cheese, lime juice, and salt/pepper. With the food processor on, add olive oil and blend until the pesto is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down sides in between steps. More olive oil can be added if a smoother, loose texture is desired.

Heat grill pan to medium-high. Lightly cover pan with cooking spray. Cook chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from pan and loosely tent with aluminum foil to rest for 5-7 minutes.

Plate chicken and spoon a generous amount of the pesto over it. Serve with a side dish such as a Black Bean and Corn Salad.

ENJOY!

Poultry

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Some friends of ours decided to host a Waffle Dinner a few weeks ago to enjoy some breakfast goodness at supper time. And then it hit us—what goes better with waffles?? Fried Chicken, of course!!! (And yes, perhaps my old haunts of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles might have influenced some things, too.)

Thus we were on the course to pull together the perfect fried chicken—juicy, crispy, just the right amount of breading, well seasoned, and not the least bit oily. I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated–I had never tried to make fried chicken before. Between my mom’s deliciously seasoned fried chicken and Popeye’s (don’t hate!), I had no reason to venture out. But apathy in the kitchen leads to no where–so off we went!

We settled on Alton Brown’s recipe for Fried Chicken because we liked the general theory behind his madness—however, we did tweak it because this gal needs her spice and seasonings. I also prefer dark meat with chicken and thus substituted accordingly.

The results? Pretty darn good. Seriously! Because of the buttermilk the chicken was extremely juicy. I also like the fact that his recipe allows for just the right amount of breading/crunch—not too much but not too little. Next time we’ll add more seasoning and hot sauce to the buttermilk as it marinates overnight. We weren’t sure how much would actually soak into the chicken and thus, were pretty conservative on the spice. I’m thinking at least 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce next time with the milk.  🙂 Word to the wise—and we learned this the hard way–Don’t add Paprika or Cayenne to your dredging flour. It burns! 😦

Chicken waiting to be fried (Post Buttermilk Soak, Seasoning, and Dredging)

Bubbling in the Fryer

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:
Chicken, with your preference of cut (we did 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Flour, for dredging
Peanut Oil, for frying
*Buttermilk Marinade

For Buttermilk Marinade:
2 Cups low fat buttermilk
2-3 Tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
½ Tablespoon Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Fill deep fryer with peanut oil and raise heat to 325 degrees. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Let chicken sit on racks for 10 minutes to allow the breading to set.

Place chicken skin side down into fryer. In batches, cook chicken until golden brown—about 15-18 minutes or when internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees for dark meat (165 degrees for white meat).

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan and serve after 10 minutes.

ENJOY! 🙂